CEI Today: Highway bill vote, women & minimum wage, and labor union pensions


CEI.org: Senate Considers Ill-Conceived Ban on Highway Tolls


The Senate is set to vote today, Tuesday, on additional amendments to the massive surface transportation bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21, S. 1813). One amendment offered by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) seeks to prohibit the use of toll systems to pay for federal-aid highways.  CEI transportation policy expert Marc Scribner argues this is a major step in the wrong direction:

Much of the country's Interstate system is nearly 50 years old and will soon need to be completely reconstructed. Without expanded tolling or dramatic tax increases, there will not be enough funding available to complete these very important projects.

The question is not if we pay for these improvements; it is how we pay for them. Without tolling as an available revenue collection mechanism, it will be all the more difficult to devolve transportation funding responsibility from the federal level and move toward more innovative public-private partnership models in the future. >Read more at CEI.org

> Interview Marc Scribner



Washington Times Watercooler blog:
Raising the tipped minimum wage does more harm than good


Politicians and interest groups playing the gender card to push their agendas is nothing new. But recently, it seems to be getting harder, as they are grasping at straws. Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D-Md.) recently introduced legislation to increase the tipped minimum wage—the base a restaurant must pay its workers before the employee receives cash tips—claiming that restaurant workers’ wages, especially female worker’s wages, have been stagnant for years. Yet a quick look at the facts shows their claims do not stand up to scrutiny. > Read the full commentary on the Washington Times Watercooler blog

> Interview Trey Kovaks or Vincent Vernuccio




Openmarket.org: If PBGC Cannot Go On Taking Over Pensions, It Will Stop

Herbert Stein’s law — “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop” — is being proven right once again. This time, what cannot go on is the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) taking on responsibility for more bankrupt companies’ defined benefit pension funds.

Ford Motor Co. has announced that it will offer lump-sum pension buyouts to salaried employees beginning in July. This comes on the heels of American Airlines’ announcement last week that it would freeze pensions for flight attendants and ground workers, rather than turn them over to the PBGC — a move the agency had opposed. The PBGC already faces a $26 billion shortfall. Taking on more pension obligations would only add to that deficit.

> View the full commentary on Openmarket.org


>Interview Ivan Osorio

> Read more on labor union issues at Workplacechoice.org



Saturday, March 31

HAH is an annual event to recognize and celebrate human achievement and innovation. During the hour, participants are asked to listen to music, surf the internet, have a glass of beer, and generally enjoy the fruits of the human mind which would not have been possible in a world where conservation restrains advancement.

HAH can be
celebrated anywhere from 8:30pm to 9:30pm. In addition, CEI will be hosting a celebration at our headquarters in Washington, DC and live streaming our event online.

Join the HAH Facebook group.